Yesterday husband and I visited the Terry Pratchett exhibition at Salisbury Museum, we were among a wide demographic of Terry fans from children in wizard costumes to Discworld aficionados sharing their knowledge freely and loudly! People had travelled from far and wide to experience the exhibition and learn more about their favourite author, the Godfather of Imagintastic.
Until I met husband I had not read a Terry Pratchett novel, the majority of the novels take place on Discworld, which is a bit like our own except that it’s flat and is supported by 4 elephants who ride on the back of a turtle called the Great A’Tuin – sound implausible? Not really when you consider President Trump, driverless cars and the rising popularity of suicide bombings. In fact Discworld seems to be an infinitely more sensible place to reside rather than our own planet right now.
It’s not just the fantasy planet but the complexity of the characters and their back stories that inflames our imaginations. He transports us back to our childhoods without belittling and makes us sympathise with situations without feeling pity, he is an expert in ‘headology’. On a first read the plots appear to be light and frothy but scratch the type slightly with the edge of your fingernail and the letters will tumble away to expose a darker sentiment and the grubbier aspects of the human character emerge in all their horribleness. This combination of light and shade makes your read a journey through light and shade guided by a mouth-watering lexicon of frivolous fantasticalness.
Whatever the age of the book, his satire is contemporary and razor sharp and if you can read one without laughing out loud you may well be ‘breathily challenged.’ I should know this because our bookcase has one full shelf dedicated to Terry Pratchett printware – I’ve read each one – and his co-writers and I cannot begin to describe what fate may befall me if I move them out of alphabetical order!
Be More Terry is a slogan that Rob Wilkins and Stephen Briggs came up with to remind themselves they should try to remain true to the way Terry Pratchett would handle situations that life might throw at us and so in this spirit my resolutions for 2018 are:-
Embrace the marvellous, fantastical and absurd
Belly-laugh more frequently
Thumb my nose at bureaucracy
Encourage my imagination to starting rioting in full technicolour
Invent words and use them with such confidence that people believe they are truebegivens
So wherever 2018 leads you and whatever you may accomplish please do it Being More Terry
Terry Pratchett exhibition is on at Salisbury Museum until 13th January, if you’re nearby take a peek – it’s worth the visit.